Mark Master Mason

The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales
and its Districts and Lodges Overseas

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The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons. The ceremony, in which a Brother is 'advanced', can be said to comprise two Degrees; the first in which he is acknowledged as a Mark Man, followed by the second where he becomes a Mark Master Mason. The Mark referred to in its title takes its name from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many cathedrals and important buildings.

Much use is made of Holy Writ to instruct the Candidate and Brethren in the story which serves to teach that the real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses. In chronological terms the Degree follows that of the Second Degree in Craft masonry. There is reputedly some evidence that the Degree is 400 years old but the earliest English records stem from 1769 when it was first worked in Chapter of Friendship, Royal Arch Chapter No. 257 (formerly No. 3) in Portsmouth. However, a minute book dated 1599 of the Lodge of Edinburgh states that several speculative brethren had appended their marks after their names.

The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held on Monday, 23 June 1856.

The ordinary members' regalia comprises an apron and breast jewel. The apron is of white kid with a triangular flap bordered with a two inch ribbon of light blue with crimson edges. It has rosettes of the same colour whilst Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a key stone appended to a ribbon which matches the apron and bears a mallet & chisel which are the tools of the Order. The key stone, which bears certain characters, forms an integral part of the ceremony.

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Mark Master Mason

“Taking the Air” Takes on a Whole New Meaning for Pupils of Balliol Primary School

Pupils of Balliol Primary School in Kempston are some of the first in the country to benefit from a new approach to teaching their children outside of the classroom. 

The idea of creating an outdoor classroom was floated by the school’s headteacher at the time, Kirsty Bicknell, who commented, “We wanted to create a facility, in which our children could be taught and at the same time learn about the environment around them.  Our initial research indicated that to create an outdoor classroom and a 'chill-out zone' for children to learn in and have space to build social and emotional skills, would cost approximately £20,000!”

“We approached our Parents and Teachers Association (Friends of Balliol) and Bedfordshire Freemasons to seek their assistance. After careful consideration, Bedfordshire Freemasons agreed to provide £15,000 and our PTA helped to fundraise the balance.  On behalf of all the staff and the pupils of Balliol, I would like to express our most grateful thanks to Bedfordshire Craft and Bedfordshire Mark Master Masons and our wonderful PTA for providing the funds to help us create this unique learning and thinking facility.”

R.W.Bro. Russ Howard, Provincial Grand Master of the Bedfordshire Mark Master Masons added, “We are delighted that we could combine with Bedfordshire Craft Freemasons to help build this wonderful and unique teaching and thinking facility for the pupils of Balliol Primary School.  Having visited the school to see the outside area for myself, I was impressed with the outdoor classroom and 'chill-out' space, and the politeness and good manners of the pupils and their enthusiasm for their new outdoor classroom.  All we need now is some mild weather so the pupils can enjoy their lessons 'Al Fresco'."

R.W.Bro. Tony Henderson, Provincial Grand Master of Bedfordshire Craft Freemasons said, “We are delighted that we could help Kirsty and her team build this amazing outdoor classroom and thinking space.  The £15,000 donated by Freemasons, includes a £5,000 contribution each from Bedfordshire Mark Master Masons, Bedfordshire Craft Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Freemasons are keen to be involved in and support the communities we live in and where possible will support local charities and good causes.  We are currently building a 48 bed state of the art accommodation and amenities lodge for Bedfordshire Scouts at the Leslie Sell Activity Centre in Bromham.  In addition to the good causes we support locally, Freemasons across England and Wales gave over £48 Million to charities and good causes last year, and over 5 million hours of voluntary work was provided by Freemasons to local and national charities and good causes in 2018”.

Left-to-right: R.W.Bro. Tony Henderson, Craft P.G.M. (Bedfordshire), R.W.Bro. Russ Howard, P.G.M. (Bedfordshire), and with teachers and pupils of Balliol School.

 

With thanks to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bedfordshire for submitting this article and congratulations from all at Mark Masons' Hall on this fantastic achievement.

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